Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ben & Jerry's (Influenced?) Position on GE Ingredients

On the heels of Prop 37's loss in California in last November's election, the Organic Consumers Association called on supporters to boycott the "natural" and perceived healthy food companies that are owned by the multinational junk food companies that bankrolled the campaign to defeat Prop 37, which called for the labeling of food containing genetically engineered ingredients (the lifeblood of packaged and processed foodstuffs). It seems to have done some good.

As Stephanie Strom wrote in The New York Times last week:

"Brands like Honest Tea, which is owned by Coca-Cola, have written to the association, which estimates 75 percent of grocery products contain a genetically modified ingredient, to protest its 'Traitors Boycott,' which urges consumers not to buy products made by units of companies that fought Proposition 37. Consumers have peppered the companies’ Web sites, Facebook pages and Twitter streams with angry remarks. 
"Ben & Jerry’s, the ice cream company, announced recently that it would remove all genetically modified ingredients from its products by the end of this year. Consumers had expressed outrage over the money its parent, Unilever, contributed to defeat the California measure."
Here is Ben & Jerry's GMO position:
"As the campaign to label food products made with GMO ingredients moves across the states, including Vermont, Ben & Jerry’s is proud to stand with the growing consumer movement for transparency and the right to know what’s in our food supply by supporting mandatory GMO labeling legislation.
"Here’s our status: currently, in the United States and Canada, 80% of Ben & Jerry’s ingredients by volume are sourced non-GMO and 26 of our flavors are fully sourced with non-GMO ingredients (see list below). We commit to sourcing non-GMO ingredients for all our products everywhere by year-end 2013. In fact all our products made in Europe are already non-GMO.

"We will track our progress as we complete this conversion, with public updates on this site. Beginning now, and throughout 2013, we will transition packaging so that all Ben & Jerry’s products will be labeled with respect to GMO by 2014.

"We have a long history of siding with consumers and their right to know what’s in their food. We fought long and hard for labeling of rBGH, which was the first genetically engineered technology used in the US food system. We thank and encourage all those who are continuing this fight in support of transparency and the consumer’s right to know.

"You can take action now at Just Label It!

"The following is our list of flavors fully sourced with non-GMO ingredients:

Cherry Garcia
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Chocolate Nougat Crunch
Chocolate Therapy
Chunky Monkey
Half Baked
Milk & Cookies
Mint Chocolate Cookie
Mud Pie
Peanut Butter Cup
Pistachio Pistachio
Red Velvet Cake
Voluntiramisu (only in Target stores)
Blueberry Vanilla Graham Greek Frozen Yogurt
Raspberry Fudge Chunk Greek Frozen Yogurt
Strawberry Shortcake Greek Frozen Yogurt

Butter Pecan
Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz
Mint Chocolate Chunk
Sweet Cream and Cookies
Vanilla Greek Frozen Yogurt"

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